The Week Ahead: Question Time with the Deputy President & Mini debates

8 Mar 2021 (2 months, 1 week ago)

Week ahead Question time

It’s the penultimate week of the first term but there’s plenty to do in the remaining days and the legislature has scheduled a busy programme in the main chambers and committee corridor.

The practice of oral questions is an established part of the parliamentary day and gives MPs an opportunity to question the Executive about matters for which they are responsible.

Everything from specific scandals and programmes to big-picture policy to bread-and-butter issues and performance will be under the microscope. In practice, Question Time serves different objectives for governing party MPs and the opposition. In the case of the former, their questions are designed to give Ministers an opportunity to discuss the virtues of government policy and programmes. For the latter, it is a chance to confront the government about its actions and to highlight perceived inadequacies.

For all its limitations, this is usually an occasion of heightened interest and can be revealing.

In the NCOP, select Ministers in the Economics cluster will answer oral questions on Tuesday (see here) while the Deputy President (see here) gets his turn on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the NA has arranged one Question Time session on Wednesday where selected Ministers in the Social Services cluster will be probed on a variety of topics.

Beyond this, there is continued focus on budget-related matters as the NA and NCOP consider the 2021 Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals at separate plenary sittings on Wednesday.

The NA has earmarked Thursday and Friday for mini-plenaries. There are 4 scheduled per day, with two set to take place simultaneously on each day. MPs have proposed interesting, topical and perhaps even controversial topics, for debate so we can expect some heated and passionate exchanges.

Thursday

Mini-plenary 1: Subject for discussion (Ms D Kohler-Barnard, DA): The need to fundamentally restructure the intelligence and security architecture of the Republic to achieve a professional intelligence capability that will respect and uphold the Constitution and the relevant legislative prescripts, especially in light of the findings of the High Level Review Panel Report on the State Security Agency and allegations revealed at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture

Mini-plenary 2: Subject for discussion (Ms O Maotwe, EFF): The implications of privatisation of Eskom for energy security

Mini-plenary 3: Subject for discussion (Ms M Modise, ANC): Creating a safe and secure cyber environment that protects the nation and the economy backed by appropriate science and innovation strategies

Mini-plenary 4: Subject for discussion (Mr M Nxumalo, IFP): Growing crisis of unemployment especially among the youth, and the need for government to prioritise job opportunities for South Africans with low or no skills

Friday

Mini-plenary 5: Subject for discussion (Mrs H Denner, FF+): Minimum wage increases, red tape and prescriptive labour legislation - How government is hampering employment creation and economic growth during a time of unprecedented unemployment and economic hardship in South Africa

Mini-plenary 6: Subject for discussion (Mr B Holomisa, UDM): The negative consequences of government corruption on the people and development of South Africa

Mini-plenary 7: Subject for discussion (Mr S August, GOOD): Why South Africa can no longer afford to delay implementing a permanent Basic Income Grant to address the basic needs and dignity of its most marginalised citizens

Mini-plenary 8: Subject for discussion (Mr L Mcdonald, ANC): Addressing the constraints that impact the road transport sector in dealing with conflict in the trucking industry and have a negative impact on the economy

In between, there will be lawmaking, with the NA considering the Correctional Services Amendment Bill and the NCOP the National Gambling Amendment Bill.

There’s lots of action in Committee-land with legislation, interviews, public hearings, mega-important spending decisions and important oversight work on the agenda.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Ad Hoc Committee on the section 100 Intervention in the North West Province, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by HAWKS, SIU and SAPS (Commercial Crimes Unit) on progress made in North West on cases affecting s100 intervention], Virtual Meeting Platform, 13:00

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, (National Assembly), [Interviews: South African Human Rights Commission vacancies], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00

Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Comments by the FFC and PBO on the 2021 Division of Revenue Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Social Development, (National Assembly), [Virtual provincial public hearings on the Children’s Amendment Bill [B18 – 2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-17:00

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, (National Assembly), [Briefing by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on the proposed amendments to Electoral Laws Amendment Bill [B 22B – 2020); Briefing by the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) on the matter of statelessness in South Africa; Report back by the Department of Home Affairs on Committee Resolutions], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Caster Semenya Management on issues relating to her case on the new International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Regulations, her appeal and way forward; Briefing by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture on the Covid 19 Relief fund], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Hearing on the TRANSNET annual report for the financial year 2019/20, SIU Investigations and deviations, and expansions 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Hearing on the annual report and financial statements of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), as well as deviations and expansions quarter1, quarter 2 and quarter 3 of 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 18:30-21:00

Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, (National Assembly), [Interviewing candidates for the position of the Chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission (time dependent on number of shortlisted candidates)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 11:00-16:00

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on the 2021 Division of Revenue Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Standing Committee on Finance, (National Assembly), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill [B15 – 2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Portfolio Committee on Transport, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B 7-2020]], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-13:00

Standing Committee on Public Accounts, (National Assembly), [Hearing on the DENEL annual report for the financial year 2019/20, SIU Investigations and deviations, and expansions 2020/21], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:30-13:00

Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, (National Assembly), [Briefing by Department of Public Enterprises on the third quarter performance of the Department of Public Enterprises and state-owned companies; Consideration and adoption of draft minutes], Virtual Meeting Platform, 10:00

Select Committee on Security and Justice, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill [B 17 B - 2020] (National Assembly – Section 75); Briefing by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the Correctional Services Amendment Bill [B 32 - 2020] (National Assembly – Section 75); Briefing by the Legal Aid South Africa on the Draft Amended Regulations tabled in terms of section 23(2) of the Legal Aid South Africa Act, 2014 (Act No. 39 of 2014)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 14:00-17:00

Select Committee on Appropriations, (National Council of Provinces), [Briefing by National Treasury on the Division of Revenue Bill [B3-2021]; Consideration of draft Minutes of previous meetings. (Provincial finance committees have been invited to attend this meeting)], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00

Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication, (National Council of Provinces), [Update by ESKOM on the unbundling process (of ESKOM) as announced by the Minister], Virtual Meeting Platform, 15:00-18:00

Friday, 12 March 2021

Standing Committee on Appropriations, (National Assembly), [Public Hearings on the 2021 Division of Revenue Bill], Virtual Meeting Platform, 09:00-12:00

Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament, (National Assembly and National Council of Provinces), [Adoption of Committee minutes: 5 March 2021; Briefing by the acting Secretary to Parliament on the institution’s performance in the third quarter of the 2019], Virtual Meeting Platform, 12:00-15:00

Committees provide a platform for the public to present views directly to MPs. Share your on the ground experience and expert information to the relevant committees. Critically, what questions should MPs pose to the Executive as they conduct their oversight work?

We have consolidated our reports on the COVID-19 related meetings here.

View the schedule page here.

*This summary is based on the schedule as it is published on Monday morning. The programme is subject to frequent updating so the link above needs to be checked daily to confirm the programme for the day.



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